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Beaverdale Residents Nervously Get Through Days of Rain Amid Memories of Flash Floods

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- For residents in the Beaverdale neighborhood, the running of sump pumps have been a common sound.

“We're always on edge when it rains real hard” said Linda Simms.

They consider themselves lucky that this go around the sump pumps have been able to keep up.

Back in early July, Simms had eight feet of water in her basement.

“We lost everything in the basement, had to replace it, furnace, water heater, we had to redo our breaker box, wiring in the house, washer dryer, my refrigerator was floating downstairs...everything” said Simms.

The intersection of 47th and Holcomb sits about a hundred yards from Simms’ home.  Because of an outdated sewer system, she says it's been a problem area for decades. In a past interview Public Works Director Jonathan Gano says the city plans to address it in the summer of 2019.

“So, we’ll be looking at storing that water underground with a pervious pavement, kind of green infrastructure approach to storing the water underground, so it’s not a problem” he said.

Until then, a pump is the neighborhoods only protection. Simms says it hasn't put their mind at ease.

“We can’t go to sleep at night when it's going to rain real hard because we're on edge, constantly, we're all on edge in this neighborhood” she said.

Meanwhile in another part of Beaverdale, residents have also been more anxious than normal.

“I mean all day that past couple of days you keep getting these flash flood warnings and it's like oh no what's going to happen?” said Deb Lyduch.

Lyduch got a few inches in her basement and has since bought a battery operated pump to guard against power outages. She says she’s ready for dry weather as soon as she can get it.

“'cause it's always gloomy and dark and it's like oh my god no motivation, so yes, I'm glad if the rain just goes away” she said.

In 2002 the city identified 28 projects to improve the watershed.  They have completed 8 thus far.

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